My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ of 5!
Technically this story is a standalone, but please note that it is part of the Blue Phoenix series, so it does contain spoilers and overlaps with previous books, which should be read first.
Having read the other three books in this series I was really looking forward to reading Jem’s story. We’ve already met Jem and to be fair, he’s an arse. But as the Blue Phoenix story continued we learned a bit more about him and it’s clear that he’s a troubled and tortured character! This is exactly why I was looking forward to this book, to read something that’s a bit darker and less lovey-dovey.
It’s extremely hard not to love Lisa Swallows writing, when she writes life into Ruby Tuesday and Jem. After briefly meeting Jem in previous books it’s such a joy to finally get to know him, laugh with him, hurt with him and most importantly, love with him. I think so far this is by far my favourite Blue Phoenix book, and I especially love how Lisa doesn’t shy away from all the ugly and hurt these two tortured souls have been through.
With a shitty childhood, Jem has had a really tough start to life.
The few times he experienced any happiness it was with his friends, the Blue Phoenix members. When the band took off Jem indulged in pretty much anything. Alcohol, drugs, women, you name it. This has caused plenty of breakdowns, arguments, not to forget meltdowns. When this story starts Jem has just returned from rehab, again. In order to stay on this sober path Jem needs to keep himself busy and thus, he offers to help Blue Phoenix’s manager out by finding the bands new support group for their next tour.
Ruby Tuesday, wow, what a character.
Where Jem’s childhood was shitty, Ruby’s was downright horrific. Nothing has gone her way, she’s lost everything and everyone and when we meet her, she’s stuck in an abusive relationship. The only ray of light into Ruby’s dark world, is her band, Ruby Riot.
In Jem and Ruby’s story there’s so much anxiety, fear, pain and self-destruction. Like the other band members, these two also has a lot of drama going on, but it’s different! It’s a completely different layer of drama and it suits the story so well.
Have you read this book, or any of the books in the series? Or are you thinking about it? Comment and let’s chat.